Recovering from Divorce Trauma
Puja Kanth Alfred, M.A (Psychology), EFT-CERT I , EFT-ADV
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Divorce is a very traumatic experience. From the time people realize that they need a divorce to the time they finally get it, they face immense trauma. This article concisely covers some of the important aspects related to the divorce process.
First and foremost EFT has to be applied on the reasons/grounds for divorce. Each reason is a huge topic in itself.
The following are some of the grounds for Divorce.
Given below are some emotional & practical issues that need to be dealt with in Divorce.
Anger at the spouse
There is usually tremendous anger within the person who is going through divorce based on the grounds of adultery, cruelty etc. There is anger for the exploitation in domestic violence, anger for being cheated, anger for being hurt, anger on oneself for being naive etc.
Tapping on this is very important. However, this may lead to re-surfacing of unresolved issues . Tapping along with a friend or practitioner may help.
Many a times both the partners are not in agreement and one spouse doesn’t want a divorce. In this scenario, the one not in agreement with the divorce may flare up with hurt ego resulting in anger and emotional manipulation that can add to the stress. Thinking rationally, even though its a tough call, will help the hurt spouse in dealing with the divorce process more calmly. Not accepting reality will only aggravate stress.
Shock and denial
In the beginning the feeling of shock usually takes over. People cannot believe that it is happening to them. After the shock, they may go through a denial phase in which they retreat into themselves. They become socially inactive and completely withdraw into themselves.
Even though I’m shocked that my spouse has asked for divorce, …
Even though I cannot believe that I will be divorced/I am going through divorce/my spouse has asked for divorce, ..
Even though I cannot accept this, …
Fear of Separation & Indecision
After the shock and denial phase one usually goes through the indecision phase in which they rethink their decision about divorce. Their resolve may waver. It is very important to be clear and decide. For example in domestic violence cases, despite the emotional suffering a person is afraid of taking a divorce. There is fear of loneliness, fear of change, fear of separation etc.
Even though I cannot decide,….
Even though I fear that I will be lonely after Divorce, ….
Even though I am afraid of the change,….
Even though Im afraid of separation,….
Even though I do not have the emotional strength to go through the divorce,….
Stress involved in finding a lawyer
Even though I’m stressed about which lawyer to hire, …
Uncertainty of the outcome.
Questions like how long will divorce take, will it go to trial, can the property matters be amicably settled, how much will the alimony be, etc have to be dealt with. In situations where one spouse wants divorce and the other does not, the divorce proceedings can drag for years. However, in states like New Jersey that are no fault divorce states, the process is faster. Still the uncertainty gives a lot of anguish.
Even though I’m uncertain of the outcome of trial,…
Even though I’m uncertain about the court’s decision,….
Even though I’m tired of so many court appearances,….
Litigation can cause additional trauma
The trauma is manifold when there is litigation . Attempts should be made to settle matters by arbitration and mediation.
Even though my spouse has filed a lawsuit on me,…
Even though I am ill equipped to deal with it,….
Even though I’m very afraid of the outcome,….
Even though mediation process has failed, …
Even though I have to appear before the judge/Jury, …
Explaining to friends & family is very tough. If a spouse makes facebook or any other social networking site a war zone then it gets even uglier.
Even though my family doesn’t support my decision, …
Even though my friends do not support my decision,….
Even though my spouse is trying to manipulate me,…
Even though my spouse is hurting me emotionally,…
Property settlement & Alimony
The issues involved in division of property, savings, alimony and child support all can be extremely frustrating.
Even though the whole process of property settlement/alimony is very frustrating,….
Battle for Child Custody
Making the child a scapegoat in divorce is very usual. The difference between being a bad husband/wife and being a bad father/mother is rarely understood. Often despite being a good parent a spouse loses out on his/her visitation rights in a custody battle. A child needs both the parents and keeping this fact in mind is very important (that is if the parents are ‘willing’ to be parents).
Emotional Trauma for Children
Children caught in the Divorce process undergo a lot of trauma. It is very important for parents to keep their differences to themselves in front of the children.
Even though I feel like blaming my spouse in front of my children, …
Even though I am very angry with my spouse and I take out the anger on my children,…
Even though I want to take revenge from my spouse by separating him/her from our children …
The Emotional repercussions of Divorce will be discussed in the next Post.
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Puja Kanth is a Counseling Psychologist, Certified EFT Practitioner and Emotional Trauma Expert. She uses a unique approach called Geo-specific EFT, a cross cultural approach, to work with clients around the globe. Visit her online at www.emofreetherapy.com
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